Monday, June 23, 2008

"ALGORITHMS: Second Life creator: Virtual worlds achieving real results"

Virtual worlds might seem like kid stuff, but they could end up making big contributions to society, according to Cory Ondrejka, senior vice president of digital strategies at EMI Music, told the Freescale Technology Forum in Orlando, Fla. A co-creator of Second Life, an online virtual world with over 13 millions users, Ondrejka now fancies himself an expert on the technological and social requirements of product development among geographically-dispersed teams. He stressed what he calls the complex interrelationship between innovation and learning, particularly the economic and technological impact of virtual worlds. Second Life users can assume personalities punctuated by avatars and landscapes that mimic public and private institutions in the real world, as well as the social interactions among individuals and peer groups. Ondrejka, who left Second Life in December 2007 and resurfaced this month at EMI, claims his new role there will not be crafting a Second Life clone. However his expertise at virtual worlds remains his forte. Second Life was alternatively viewed as either expanding "Internet addiction" or as a savior of the social fabric in its ability to connect people. Both expectations went tOo far, Ondrejka maintained.